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South, normally a blue-chip player, took the ace of clubs and the king of spades, led a diamond to dummy and threw a club on the ace of spades.

South then continued according to his blueprint by leading another diamond. West won and led a spade, and East got rid of the jack of diamonds as South ruffed.

South next took the A-K of trumps; but when West discarded, the contract was a candidate for Blue Cross. When South ruffed a diamond in dummy, East carefully threw a club. South ruffed a club and led a good diamond; but East ruffed and took the last two tricks with the queen of trumps and the king of clubs, leaving South to sing the blues.

South insisted (until he was blue in the face) that he'd fail only once in a blue moon; but his play wins no blue ribbons. South must cash only one trump before he ruffs the third diamond. He can then keep control and lose only two trumps and a diamond.

And that's today's column -- unless my editors blue-pencil it.

South dealer

North-South vulnerable
A 7 5 3 2
9 6 5
A 6
J 6 5
Q 10 9 8 4
K Q 9
Q 8 4 2
J 6
Q 10 7 2
J 5 2
K 10 9 7
A K J 4 3
10 8 7 4 3
A 3
South West North East
1 1 1 NT Pass
2 Pass 2 Pass
3 Pass 4 All Pass
Opening lead -- 2

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